The ZIMBABWE Situation Our thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe
- may peace, truth and justice prevail.

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Its happened again!!!!
It was another beautiful day in Africa we were just about to go for a ride
when a landrover pulled up giving us 12 hours to get off.  Now as you all
know this time last year we were trashed and looted then booted so we had
been through this before.  We knew Biri had a section 8 so we have been
expecting it but it always happens when you least expect it.  So we started
to pack up.  Beryl my 73 year old mother was with us, she couldn't quite
understand the commotion and was outraged that anyone should expect her to
pack in 12 hours.  Our foreman was concerned that we were not packing fast
enough.  He explained to me that he had heard Chanestsa wanted Biri and if
we were not out of there soon we would have to bear the consequences. We
packed for our lives but  where was it all to go at such short notice.  I
checked on Mum she was now in her blue nurses uniform struggling to put her
epaulettes on.  Mum you should be packing what are you doing? Well I found
it in a suitcase and I am making sure it still fits. We eventually moved
most of the stuff and left the farm by 12.  Chanestsa and his entourage
arrived at 2 thank goodness we were not about.  They allowed us back on
Monday to collect the rest of our stuff, unfortunately for Janee Wallis who
lives next door
pandemonium took over.  Her labour decided they would not pack anything
until they had received a full package so Janee and her family were
barricaded in the house.  Fortunately they managed to escape and Pat picked
them up at the dam otherwise they would have had a really uncomfortable
night in an empty house. The horses have been moved to the swanepoels, the
dogs will go to town and then rest of us are looking for somewhere to stay.
we have furniture piled to the roof in the church hall and in people's
houses baskets all over Gaydia's  lawn and its just chaos.  While I was
packing Pat said to stick white labels on the very important things that
must go first so I went around with two off our workers putting the stickers
on bits of furniture.  Then when I had finished Albert one of the workers
picked up a lable and stuck it on his chest showing me he was important and
and must come too.  I started to cry .
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Dear Friends
The magnitude of the September 11 memorial overshadowed everything yesterday. What an extraordinary commemoration that was at Ground Zero. I felt battered by emotion at the end of it so I can't imagine what the American people felt. I was horrified to hear last night that COSATU had chosen this day to have a protest about US foreign policy outside the American embassy - can anything be more crass and unfeeling than that?
Our workers are still not working and there have been further shut downs in the district. The powers-that-be have obviously realised that eviction notices are not working so now they are forcing the labour to stay away. Our guys came yesterday and asked if Andy could go and ask the Police if they could go back to work. Permission will NOT be sought (or granted, even if we were prepared to do so!) Copies of Statutory Instrument 6 were dropped at the compound yesterday. This lays down the Terminal Benefits and Entitlements of Agricultural Employees Affected by Compulsory Acquisition. It states that, should you have to terminate employment due to your farm being compulsorily acquired, you have to pay these benefits which may be deducted from the compensation paid to your for your permanent improvements if you can't pay them before. The crux of the matter is, of course, that a) we have no intention of terminating any employment since we went to the high court and won, setting aside the Compulsory Acquisition Order and 
b) I do not know anyone who has received any compensation for compulsorily acquired farms and every day we hear that Govt has no intention of paying out a thing.
The benefit package is quite something:
Severance pay equal to 3 months wages.
One month's wages in lieu of notice.
A relocation fee (more than a month's wages)
A gratuity equal to two month's wages for every year worked.
Leave pay due.
If every worker has only worked on year it amounts to about 8 month's wages. For us the package would be many millions - we have had one tobacco sale so are nowhere NEAR paying off our overdraft. I somehow don't see the bank manager releasing the necessary amount. Funnily enough, at the end of the regulations it states that you can then re-hire your workers on a contract basis. The workers have to pay income tax on this amount and usually have to hand over 25 - 30% to the Unions. Unfortunately, the workers don't get told the small print or the provisions from the employer's side - they are told that your MOVABLE assets can be seized in lieu of payment.
Poor Ian and Jo Cochrane and their family have had a terrible 4 days. They have been barricaded in their house which is not an unusual occurrence in Zimbabwe but in this instance there have been arms involved. Dave Mostert, reacting to the situation was ambushed and had a round go through his side window - it missed him by 6 inches he reckons. When weapons are involved, the ball game changes and becomes very frightening. Ian, Jo, his sister Jenny and his mother, Thea, have had to evacuate. About 10 people in brown uniform (not standard military kit) brandishing shotguns are in the mob.
We have just had 4 louts at the gate wanting to know if the domestics are working. Andy went out with the camera which was on the last 2 frames and then had to dash in to get the other one. They were saying "Kockott, no pictures!! No Pictures!!" They took off down the road and we got in the vehicle and went after them to get a few more. They were apparently the local warvets and have gone to the compound to have a "meeting". Gill Moolman has a crowd at her gate but luckily she has gone to Harare. Leith and Debbie have been told the warvets are on their way so we will see what happens.
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      JAG to sue government for $20 billion

      9/12/02 3:15:08 AM (GMT +2)

      BULAWAYO - Justice for Agriculture (JAG), a pressure group
representing hundreds of Zimbabwean white farmers evicted from their
properties by the government, this week said it is suing the state for
compensation for losses estimated at more than $20 billion.

      JAG spokeswoman Jannie Williams said the compensation sought covered
losses of stolen assets and earnings for both farm owners and employees.

      The group estimated the losses at more than $20 billion, she said,
noting that some farmers had been forced to flee their properties and farm
equipment and belongings by invaders, most of them supporters of President
Robert Mugabe's ruling ZANU PF.

      Since the land invasions began in Zimbabwe's commercial farming
community about two-and-a-half years ago, many of Zimbabwe's 4 500 white
commercial farmers have been prevented from farming, partly triggering the
present food crisis.

      Last month the government ordered 2 900 of the farmers to quit their
properties and hand them over to blacks under its controversial land

      Many of the farmers have refused to obey the evictions, although they
have fled their properties into the sanctuary of urban areas. About 300
farmers have been arrested for defying the evictions.

      Williams would not say exactly when the suit would be brought before
the courts.

      "We are focused on seeking a clear way forward on the land issue in
Zimbabwe through the judiciary and the courts while exposing the
inadequacies and corruption in the current system," she said.

      "The process of suing for compensation is on and we are working on
fielding a group action with a view of suing for losses for owners and
employees. We are consulting widely over this issue but I can't furnish you
with more details at the moment."

      Under its reforms, the government says it is paying compensation for
improvements made on the farms such as houses and water reservoirs but not
for the land itself. But even then, it has failed to pay the part
compensation to virtually all the farmers it has already ordered expelled.

      -Staff Reporter
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      Displaced farm workers face starvation

      By Zhean Gwaze Staff Reporter
      9/12/02 3:14:05 AM (GMT +2)

      MORE than 150 000 farm workers who lost their jobs last month when the
government ordered hundreds of white farmers to stop farming now face
starvation as they have only about three weeks of food supplies left,
according to a survey by the privately-run Zimbabwe Community Development
Trust (ZCDT).

      The ZCDT is a Harare-based non-governmental organisation (NGO) which
provides shelter and food mostly to the former farm workers, as well as to
people displaced by political violence.

      Anglican church priest and ZCDT executive director Tim Neill this week
said the survey on the plight of farm workers had been conducted last month
on 3 200 white-owned farms across Zimbabwe.

      Since last month the government has stepped up pressure on 2 900 white
farmers to leave their properties after the expiry of its eviction notices
on August 8.

      About 300 farmers have been arrested in the past few weeks for
refusing to obey the government's evictions, while others have complied with
it. But many are refusing to quit their farms to make way for landless
blacks, most of them government followers.

      Farming operations have nonetheless stopped at nearly all the
country's commercial farms after most farmers escaped to the safety of urban
areas, leaving their workers stranded on the farms with no work or money to
buy food.

      Neill said: "Half the number of farm workers had food to last them
only for less than three months since the August 8 deadline and this means
that between the end of September and mid-October there will be a new group
of people facing starvation."

      There are a total 350 000 farm workers, each of whom on average
supports about five dependants.

      Neill said President Robert Mugabe's home province of Mashonaland
West, which in the past has witnessed some of the worst violence on
commercial farms, had the highest number or about a third of the farm
workers threatened with hunger.

      The government has promised to resettle the farm workers, together
with landless villagers, under its controversial land reforms but to date
only about one percent of the farm hands have been resettled. Most of these
are Mugabe's supporters.

      Niell said some of the farm workers had fled hunger on the farms and
gone into Harare and other cities, where NGOs were helping them with food
and shelter.

      But several thousands more were still on the farms, surviving on the
little food reserves they were left with when the farmers fled or on the
meagre retrenchment packages they had been paid.

      He said his organisation had been overstretched beyond its means and
that it was now finding it difficult to continue providing food to the
displaced workers.

      "We are only capable of providing food to 400 families and this is a
short-term solution which does not offer them a breakpoint and neither does
it provide a movement towards a developmental approach," Neill said.

      Six million other Zimbabweans need emergency food aid from
international donors or they could starve to death after poor rains last
season and the government's disruptive land reforms cut food production by
more than 60 percent.

      Neill said his agency was appealing to donors for funds to buy seed
packs for the farm workers so they could grow crops this season.

      But he said the ZCDT's work was being hampered by state security
agents, who in the past have arrested the organisation's officials on
allegations that they were training "terrorists" at the shelter camps they
run for displaced Zimbabweans.
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      Zim to benefit from UK firm's AIDS, malaria drug price cuts

      Staff Reporter
      9/12/02 3:09:09 AM (GMT +2)

      ZIMBABWE is one of several sub-Saharan countries eligible to benefit
from international pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmith-Kline's price reduction
last week of its preferential not-for-profit HIV/AIDS and malaria medicines.

      The United Kingdom-based company has slashed its preferential prices
for HIV/AIDS drugs by up to 33 percent and for malaria by up to 38 percent
to try to improve health care in the developing world.

      Glaxo-SmithKline (GSK) has been offering preferential pricing for
vaccines to least developed and sub-Saharan countries for more than 20 years
and for anti-retrovirals since 1997.

      Among the HIV/AIDS drugs whose cost has been reduced from September 5
are retro-vir, whose price has fallen by 25 percent to US$1.20 or $66 per
day on the official Zimbabwean foreign exchange market.

      A daily 600-milli-gramme dose of the drug would however cost more than
$720 using parallel market rates.

      The drug combivir will now cost US$1.70 ($93.50 at the official
exchange rate or $1 020 at the parallel market rate) per day, a 15 percent
reduction, while trizivir will now sell for US$4.45 ($244.45 or $2 670) per
day, a 33 percent reduction.

      Malaria medicines whose prices have been cut are malarone, which now
costs US$12 ($660 or $7 200) per day and halfan, now selling at US$1.40 ($77
or $840) for three doses.

      "We are delivering on our commitment to review prices for these
essential medicines for patients in 63 of the world's poorest countries,"
GSK chief executive Jean-Pierre Garnier said.

      "We are also expanding our existing initiatives in sub-Saharan Africa
to find appropriate ways to offer not-for-profit prices to core public
employees such as teachers, nurses, police and fire-fighters not covered by
health insurance, and to private employers who do not have their own
workplace clinics."

      GlaxoSmithKline customers eligible for last week's price reductions
are the public sector, non-governmental organisations, aid agencies, United
Nations agencies and employers in sub-Saharan Africa who offer HIV/AIDS care
and treatment to their staff through workplace clinics.

      Least developed countries such as Afghanistan, Angola, Ethiopia and
Lesotho and sub-Saharan states including Botswana, Namibia, South Africa,
Swaziland and Zimbabwe are also eligible.

      Projects financed by the Global Fund to fight AIDS, malaria and
tuberculosis will also be eligible for the preferential prices. Zimbabwe is
among the countries set to benefit from the Global Fund.

      Only about 30 000 of the 28.5 million people in Africa infected with
the virus that causes AIDS are estimated to receive drug treatment because
of the prohibitive costs involved, resulting in a higher death rate on the
continent than in developed countries, where AIDS is now classified as a
chronic disease such as cancer.

      In Zimbabwe, access to HIV/AIDS medicines has also been hampered by
the fact that the drugs are mostly available in the private sector and by
the severe foreign currency shortages in the country.
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      Govt owed $100 billion

      By Sydney Masamvu Political Editor
      9/12/02 3:04:01 AM (GMT +2)

      THE Zimbabwe government is battling to recover a staggering $100
billion it spent on the four-year war in the Democratic Republic of the
Congo (DRC) which has contributed to Zimbabwe's economic crisis, government
officials said this week.

      The size of the debt, almost a third of this year's national budget,
was disclosed during a heated meeting between a DRC ministerial delegation
and Zimbabwean government officials held at the Zimbabwean resort town of
Nyanga two weeks ago.

      Official sources told the Financial Gazette this week that the meeting
between the two allies in the DRC war was tense and dealt with the recovery
of the billions of dollars Zimbabwe spent on the war effort to prop up the
Kinshasa regime.

      "The Zimbabwe government is owed about $100 billion by the DRC on the
whole effort and we still have not made any meaningful progress to recover
the cost," one official who attended the meeting said.

      The government, which deployed 10 000 soldiers in the DRC to fight off
the Tutsi rebellion in August 1998, has been footing a large chunk of the
war bill.

      Zimbabwe Defences Forces military equipment worth billions of dollars
has been destroyed in the war, which sucked in six countries in the Great
Lakes region.

      Billions of dollars were also spent by Harare to buy arms from China
and air power from Russia.

      The national airline, Air Zimbabwe, is also owed US$4 million ($220
million) by Congolese national airliner Lignes Airlines Congolais.

      However, according to the sources, the government has not benefited
directly from the war in the DRC, save for individual ruling ZANU PF

      International investigators have previously alleged that some Cabinet
ministers, influential ZANU PF politicians and some army generals had
benefited immensely in their individual capacities through diamond sales and
mining concessions held by a company called Operation Sovereign Legitimacy

      Authoritative government sources say none of the proceeds from these
deals have found their way into the state's coffers and the government is
now making frantic efforts to recover its costs following the DRC ceasefire.

      The costs of the war effort were supposed to be recovered through
joint ventures between Zimbabwe and the DRC, but most of these have failed
to take off in the past three years.

      Some of the ventures still on the cards include timber logging,
mining, agriculture and preferential energy imports.

      The sources said former finance minister Simba Makoni grappled with
the DRC ministerial delegation in Nyanga two weeks ago to force it into
signing accords that would help Zimbabwe to recover at least some of the
costs through preferential trade.

      The agreements signed relate to payments and offsetting of debts,
avoidance of double taxation, preferential trade, bilateral investment
promotion and protection, movement of persons and information, Press and

      Makoni, who has resigned from the government, yesterday declined to
disclose the amount owed by the DRC to Zimbabwe, saying he was not in a
position to do so since he was no longer a government member.

      His successor Herbert Murerwa, who was also part of the Nyanga
delegation, could not be reached for comment because he is in Libya.

      Industry and International Trade Ministry permanent secretary Stuart
Comberbach declined to comment on the matter, saying he was not privy to the
details of the debt, which he said was being handled by a special
Zimbabwe-DRC committee.

      Eugenia Ntumba, the second secretary at the DRC embassy in Harare,
said she was not in a position yet to disclose her country's arrears to

      She said a government panel working on the issue was still discussing
the matter.

      But official sources said army commander Vitalis Zvinavashe, who was
at the Nyanga meeting, pressed for the recent removal of visa restrictions
on Zimbabweans.

      They said he reminded the Congolese delegation that when Zimbabwean
soldiers entered the DRC in 1998 to quell the Tutsi rebellion that was
backed by Rwanda, they were not asked for visas.

      The DRC team had insisted on keeping the visa restriction, which was
scrapped under one of the agreements signed last month.

      Zimbabwe's involvement in the DRC war is partly blamed for triggering
Zimbabwe's economic meltdown, shown out by rampant inflation, foreign
currency shortages that are threatening the economy, company closures and
soaring joblessness and poverty.

      The economy is forecast to contract at least 11 percent this year, its
worst performance since independence two decades ago.

      The government has also failed to raise $160 billion to fund its
controversial agrarian reforms and US$380 million for food imports to feed
six million Zimbabweans, or half the population, facing starvation because
of a poor rainy season and the land reforms.
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      'Green Bombers' jailed for attack on woman

      Own Correspondent
      9/12/02 3:10:05 AM (GMT +2)

      KAROI - Two national youth service graduates, also known as Green
Bombers, were this week jailed for assaulting a woman here who wore
tight-fitting trousers.

      Provincial magistrate William Bhila jailed the two youths - Tafadzwa
Gurira, 22, and Robson Saidi, 24 - for seven months each, but suspended
three months of each youth's sentence for five years on condition of good

      The unemployed youths, both graduates of the Border Gezi National
Youth Service Training Centre, approached 21-year-old Media Nyatsunga at the
Karoi town council guest house and, in the style of the notorious Taliban
religious police, interrogated her charging that she was degrading
Zimbabwe's culture by wearing tight-fitting trousers.

      When the frightened Nyatsunga responded that she did not see anything
wrong with her clothing, they manhandled her, ordering her to roll on the
ground while they poured cold water all over her body.

      In their joint defence, Gurira and Saidi said they assaulted Nyatsunga
because "we have been trained to instil discipline among Zimbabweans for
their national pride".

      The government is accused of conscripting desperate and unemployed
youths into its controversial national youth service and brainwashing them
to become blind and violent zealots of the ruling ZANU PF party.

      The government denies the charge, saying national youth service is
vital to instil discipline and patriotism among youths.

      It says it will soon enact legislation making it mandatory for all
school-leavers to undergo the programme before being enrolled in colleges
and universities or being employed by state institutions.
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      Govt set to abolish FCAs, make rate cut

      By Joseph Ngwawi Business News Editor
      9/12/02 3:06:02 AM (GMT +2)

      THE government is expected to decide on new measures to plug leakages
of foreign currency from the economy, including the liquidation of all
foreign currency accounts (FCAs), in the coming weeks, although analysts say
such a move is likely to face stiff resistance from top politicians
blacklisted under European and US sanctions.

      Official sources yesterday said an agreement had already been reached
in principle to tighten the screws on the use of foreign currency and that
the final say is expected to come from the Cabinet, which will deliberate on
the new measures in the next few weeks.

      One of the measures likely to be taken is the withdrawal of corporate
and individual FCAs, whose owners the government blames for partly fuelling
the shortage of hard cash.

      "The reasoning is that we cannot afford to have FCAs when the country
is dry and surviving from hand-to-mouth with regards foreign currency," one
source told the Financial Gazette.

      No comment was available from the central Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe

      Analysts however said the proposed liquidation could be resisted by
senior government and ruling ZANU PF party officials who have been forced to
move funds held in offshore accounts back to Zimbabwe in the wake of
targeted sanctions imposed by the European Union, the US and other Western
governments on Zimbabwe's political leadership.

      "These individuals would not want their FCAs to be liquidated," said
an economist with a commercial bank.

      Zimbabwe faces a severe fuel crisis and has regularly defaulted on its
external commitments such as debt repayments and fuel imports.

      The International Monetary Fund (IMF) was yesterday expected to
consider whether to withdraw Zimbabwe's voting rights as punishment for the
country's failure to settle mounting arrears on its commitments to the Fund.

      Zimbabwe's arrears to the IMF stood at more than US$135 million at the
end of July this year.

      "There is also talk of widening the price controls by increasing the
number of products on the controlled list," another source said.

      The government last year imposed a freeze on prices of selected
commodities such as sugar, soap, agricultural inputs, bread and flour and it
is understood the list will now be extended to cover other products.

      The sources said former finance minister Simba Makoni had blocked
previous attempts to liquidate FCAs and impose a blanket freeze on price

      The new measures being mooted would also include a further reduction
in interest rates, currently hovering around 30 percent.

      Meanwhile foreign currency dealers yesterday described conditions on
the market as reminiscent of the 1980s command economy when all applications
for hard cash had to be approved by the RBZ.

      They said conditions in the market had tightened in the past few
weeks, with all export proceeds being remitted to the RBZ immediately
compared to the previous situation where exporters kept 60 percent of their
hard cash for a few days minus the 40 percent that was immediately remitted
to the central bank.

      Zimbabwean exporters are required to surrender 40 percent of their
hard cash earnings to the RBZ, which then allocates the money to the
Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority and the National Oil Company of
Zimbabwe for power and fuel imports.

      "We have been instructed not to bother applying to the Reserve Bank on
behalf of our clients for forex for any other use except for medical
emergencies," a currency dealer at a Harare-based commercial bank said
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      Maputo detains Zimbabwe wheat

      Staff Reporter
      9/12/02 3:04:53 AM (GMT +2)

      AUTHORITIES of the port city of Maputo in Mozambique are withholding
22 000 tonnes of wheat destined for famine-hit Zimbabwe pending payment of
handling fees owed by the Grain Marketing Board (GMB), Zimbabwe milling
industry officials said this week.

      The officials said the Mozambicans are demanding cash upfront in
foreign currency before the wheat, which arrived in Maputo last week, is

      Deliveries of the wheat, which will last Zimbabwe up to four weeks,
were supposed to have started at the beginning of this week.

      "The wheat was supposed to start arriving on Monday but there is a
problem with handling fees at the port which are yet to be paid," an
official of a Zimbabwe milling firm told the Financial Gazette.

      "The wheat might come after next week depending on how the GMB
resolves the issue. But they have assured us that they are doing their best
to bring in the product."

      It was not possible this week to ascertain how much the Mozambicans
are owed by the government-owned GMB, which has a monopoly in importing and
distributing wheat and maize, the two staples that are critically short in
the country.

      This is not the first time that Zimbabwe has failed to pay handling
fees in Mozambique.

      Last month, a ship carrying fuel from Libya was docked at Beira port
for a week after Mozambique's BP refused to allow the fuel to be offloaded
into its tanks.

      The Mozambican firm wanted the National Oil Company of Zimbabwe,
another state firm, to settle more than US$3 million in outstanding charges
for previous usage of the storage facilities and handling fees before the
fuel could be offloaded.

      GMB's acting chief executive Joan Mtukwa said she could not comment on
the matter without permission from the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture and
Rural Resettlement.

      Agriculture Minister Joseph Made was said to be in meetings the whole
day yesterday and could not be contacted on his mobile telephone.

      An official at the trade section of Mozambique's Harare embassy who
declined to be named said she was not aware of Zimbabwe's failure to pay the
handling fees.

      There was also uncertainty this week on the exact amount of wheat that
has been imported by the GMB, with some millers saying only 19 000 tonnes
had been secured.

      Although the government has not said where it is buying the wheat,
milling industry officials said it had most likely been secured from
Argentina, the world's cheapest source of the grain.

      Bakers' Association of Zimbabwe chairman Armitage Chikwavira this week
would not comment on the delay of the wheat imports and referred all
questions to the GMB.

      But other industry officials said the withholding of wheat by the
Mozambicans would worsen the bread crisis that has gripped Zimbabwe in the
past month.

      Bakers said the country's flour supplies had reached critical levels
and further delays in the arrival of wheat imports would result in remaining
flour stocks drying up.
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Business Day

Shortage sees cars line up for petrol in Harare

But state promises new supplies after signing deal with Libya
HARARE Long lines of cars waiting for petrol returned yesterday to the
streets of Harare, but the government said the new fuel shortages would end
soon because of a new oil deal with Libya.

Zimbabwe's previous fuel deal with Libya expired on August 31.

President Robert Mugabe flew to Libya on Saturday for a three-day official
visit with Libyan leader Muammar Gadaffi before heading to New York for a
meeting of the United Nations' general assembly, state media reported.

The state-run Herald newspaper said Finance Minister Herbert Murerwa signed
a $360m deal on Monday in Tripoli to ship fuel supplies to the economically
devastated southern African country for the next year. Private oil industry
executives have questioned how Zimbabwe, facing its worst economic crisis
since independence in 1980, will honour its side of the deal.

Part of the cost will be met by Zimbabwe's beef, tobacco and fruit exports.
Libya will also receive investments in Zimbabwean mining, tourism and
agriculture, the newspaper reported.

Libya already holds a 12% stake in Zimbabwe's third-largest bank, the
state-controlled Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe. SA's Absa bank holds another

More than half of Zimbabwe's 12,5-million people face severe food shortages,
blamed on drought and the government's programme to seize 95% of white-owned
commercial farms.

Production of tobacco, the biggest hard currency earner, is expected to be
halved next season due to disruptions in the agriculturebased economy. The
disruptions have led to the slaughter of thousands of cattle, creating a
glut of beef expected to be followed by shortages later in the year.

Meanwhile, a white farmer exchanged gunfire on Tuesday with ruling party
militants who shot at his homestead and tried to force him off his land,
neighbours said.

No one was hurt. Farmer Ian Cochrane fired eight shots into the ground and
some shots over the heads of militants surrounding the homestead in the
Karoi district.

Three of the attackers were armed with pump-action shotguns and a rifle and
were accompanied by about 50 militants who barricaded Cochrane and his
family inside the farm yard, said neighbour Alan Parsons. Police intervened,
dispersing the attackers who moved away in trucks to adjacent properties.
Sep 12 2002 12:00:00:000AM  Business Day 1st Edition

Speculation Over Fuel Causes Panic Buying, Long Queues

The Herald (Harare)

September 12, 2002
Posted to the web September 12, 2002

Tanzikwa Guranungo

SPECULATION that the country has been hit by a new round of fuel shortages
has sparked unnecessary panic buying by motorists, leading to long queues at
some service stations in Harare.

However, the Government and other stakeholders in the oil industry have
assured the nation that fuel supplies are still normal and stable.

The Minister of Energy and Power Development, Cde Amos Midzi, yesterday said
there were adequate fuel supplies in the country following the renewal of
the US$360 million financing facility with the Libyan Arab Foreign Bank this

He said his ministry and the National Oil Company of Zimbabwe were also
working on other financing arrangements, which would guarantee fuel supply
for the foreseeable future.

"I would therefore like to urge the public, motorists and all stakeholders
in the oil industry not to panic and hoard fuel so as to avoid unnecessary
artificial fuel shortages.

"My ministry will continue to put in place strategies to guarantee security
of fuel supplies in the country," said Minister Midzi.

Noczim, he said, was also addressing logistical problems associated with
fuel deliveries to service stations, with the assistance of the National
Railways of Zimbabwe and Bulk Fuel Transporters.

A snap survey conducted by The Herald in and around Harare yesterday
established that most garages were receiving their normal fuel supplies.

While there were long queues at some filling stations in the city centre,
the situation was normal at most service stations out of town.

At most of these service stations there were no queues at all.

A petrol attendant at BP Shell Service Station along Samora Machel Avenue
confirmed that they were receiving normal fuel supplies.

He, however, said people were now buying in bulk for fear that there might
be fuel shortages this week.

"The small queues that are seen here, are there because these people want to
hoard fuel," he said.

Another petrol attendant at Mwamuka filling station in Mbare also said the
fuel supplies were normal.

A representative of Royal Oil Services Zimbabwe, a group of indigenous
business people involved in the oil industry, in a telephone interview from
London said his organisation had managed to secure at least 100 000 metric
tonnes of diesel from Britain.

He assured the indigenous business people who operate omnibuses that there
would be no fuel shortages in the country. "People should not panic because
we have adequate fuel supplies," he said.

Zimbabwe and Libya signed a trade, investment and fuel supply agreement
early this week that will ensure constant fuel supplies to the Southern
African country for another year. The new agreement is effective until
September next year.
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Business Day

President will attempt dialogue on Zimbabwe


Parliamentary Editor

CAPE TOWN President Thabo Mbeki would use the United Nations general
assembly this week to try to discuss the crisis in Zimbabwe with his
Commonwealth colleagues, Deputy Foreign Minister Aziz Pahad said yesterday.

The so-called Commonwealth troika comprising Mbeki, Nigerian President
Olusegun Obasanjo and Australian Prime Minister John Howard agreed earlier
this year to the suspension of Zimbabwe from the Commonwealth as a result of
a flawed election. It also decided to attempt to promote dialogue between
the parties in Zimbabwe in a bid to get a rerun of the election.

Pahad said if the three leaders were at the general assembly at the same
time, it was expected that they would try to meet and discuss a way to find
a solution to the "situation in Zimbabwe" according to the Commonwealth
mandate. "There is an economic crisis in Zimbabwe, the food situation is
quite dramatic, tensions are still very high."

Mbeki and government have insisted in recent months that any SA action in
Zimbabwe would not be unilateral but would be in terms of the multilateral
organisations it belonged to, such as the Commonwealth and the Southern
African Development Community.

Pahad said that there was no new

Continued on Page 2New oil deal with Libya: Page 7

Mbeki to attempt dialogue

plan of action for Zimbabwe and any meeting would be about putting pressure
on the country for the implementation of the original mandate.

He said land reform in Zimbabwe had to be orderly and defined by the rule of

"We must ensure that the principle of willing buyer, willing seller becomes
a reality."

SA's high commissioner in Harare, Jerry Ndou, was helping South Africans
under threat of dispossession as much as was possible.

Pressure was being increased for the successful conclusion of an investment
protection agreement with Zimbabwe.

"We are very keen that this agreement gets signed very quickly because it
does give SA investors some form of legal protection.

"But in the end it depends when you have signed this agreement whether they
really implement it."

This was in sharp contrast to the views of Deputy President Jacob Zuma, who
said SA could not simply go to Zimbabwe and say: "Why are you mistreating
this particular farmer?"

Asked by Democratic Alliance MP Andries Botha why France, the Netherlands
and Germany were able to intercede on behalf their nationals, Zuma replied:
"We have a problem because you want us to emulate France, Germany. We can't.

"It is very clear we cannot help you. We cannot go to Zimbabwe and tell the
Zimbabweans do this and don't do that. It is not our duty."

Sep 12 2002 12:00:00:000AM Wyndham Hartley Business Day 1st Edition
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Daily News

      What is so unique about being African?

      9/12/02 8:57:07 AM (GMT +2)

      Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe and Namibia's Sam Nujoma struck a very
uniquely discordant note at the recent Earth Summit in Johannesburg when
they castigated virtually all European Union (EU) government leaders in
general but Britain's Prime Minister, Tony Blair, and US President George W
Bush, in particular, for their criticism of Zimbabwe's declining
socio-economic situation.

      It must have surprised the conveners of the summit that the two
leaders were so
      vociferous and undiplomatic in their defence of Zimbabwe's undoubtedly
chaotic land reform programme because it had been generally understood that
Zimbabwe's land reform campaign was not on the agenda at the summit.

      In Zimbabwe, the State-controlled media had repeatedly emphasised that
it would be unacceptable for the British government to raise Zimbabwe's
deplorable land acquisition
      and distribution campaign as an issue at the conference.

      Doing so would have been regarded by Mugabe as a provocation of
Zimbabwe, and a violation of its sovereignty. The impression was that if
Zimbabwe was to be discussed, it would have been on the sidelines of the
summit and certainly not from the podium, least of all by Mugabe himself and
his unwavering ally, Nujoma.

      That it was uncalled for at such a forum to try and defend Zimbabwe
against criticism by the Western world is, I strongly believe, obvious to
anyone who understands the world of international diplomacy. One should
never make venomous and vitriolic speeches in such fora because such tirades
are by and large full of emotion and utterly devoid of vision. That was
obvious, for instance, in the addresses by both Mugabe and Nujoma.

      For his part, Mugabe told Blair to keep his Britain, and let him keep
what he termed "my Zimbabwe".

      Mugabe went on to say that Zimbabweans were not Europeans but
Africans, words which were repeated by Nujoma more or less in the same form.

      The message in the speeches of both leaders was that as Africans we
have a unique socio-economic culture different from that of the EU.

      The questions we should ask are: What is unique about being African?
What right have we to tell the world not to criticise us when we mismanage
our national economies and then appeal to the world for material assistance,
including food, which we should be producing in our own countries?

      Are we, in effect, being told that failure to manage national
economies properly is a part
      of the national sovereignty of Africa, and must, therefore, not be
criticised by non-Africans?

      If that is the case, those African leaders espousing this utterly
foolish policy are leading their respective nations to absolute doom.

      We should appreciate that it is through criticism that progress and
improvement are made on every kind of product and service.

      Anyone who detests criticism is seriously intellectually challenged.

      The government of Zimbabwe is not being criticised for simply
implementing a land reform programme. No!

      The Zanu PF government is being criticised for carrying out the
programme in such a disorderly, chaotic way that the country's agricultural
productivity and social life have been most severely affected. No sane
person would oppose the resettlement of communities on unutilised or
under-utilised land.

      That was what the liberation struggle was all about. But that
resettlement should be carried out in such a way that the country's
agricultural productivity should be enhanced rather than reduced.

      That fact should be emphasised to every Zanu PF propagandist,
including the party's most shameless liars and distortionists.

      We have been told that "Zimbabwe will never be a colony again". Which
country has ever said that it would like to recolonise Zimbabwe?

      If there is such a scheme, the nation is entitled to know the full
facts pertaining to it because Zimbabwe belongs to all Zimbabweans and not
to an individual, whatever his traditional, social, political, or economic
status in the country.

      But I, for one, do not think that in this day and age there is any
nation that wishes to convert Zimbabwe into its colony.

      However, I stand to be corrected by the provision of irrefutable
evidence to the

      The national political leaders of Zimbabwe, including Mugabe himself,
have a duty to make peace not only within the country, but with other
nations, including Britain.

      It is thus extremely unsettling that during the past 30-odd months,
Mugabe's speeches have all been accusatory. He has been pointing fingers at
Britain, accusing it of supporting the MDC.

      Meanwhile, he has been flying to and from Libya so frequently that one
      help but wonder whether or not some of the trips and missions could
not be effectively carried out by either an ordinary Cabinet minister or by
an ambassador.

      Surely, Mugabe can delegate some minister to handle Zimbabwe's
relations with Libya,
      to negotiate and finalise deals with that country.

      Libya now owns controlling shares in the Jewel Bank whose chief
executive officer, Gideon Gono, appears to be one of Zanu PF's blue-eyed

      It is important to avoid identifying oneself racially, or one's
friends on that basis because that indirectly reflects a cultural weakness
in one's personality and social attitude.
      In any case, talking so much about one being African is as idiotic as
claiming that one is Zimbabwean on the strength of the colour of one's skin.

      One can claim to be African on the basis of having been born on the
African continent, or on the basis of being ethnically negroid, Hamitic, San
or Khoi. The former is the basis upon which the vast majority of modern
nations claim their citizenship - territorial or
      continental geographical boundaries as opposed to one's ethnic

      Mugabe and Nujoma sound as if they are suggesting thatpeople of
European ethnic
      extraction should not criticise people of African ethnic origin. They
also sound as if they would like to see all people of white skin
pigmentation expelled from Africa.

      If that is not downright racialism, then nothing is. The Zimbabwean
government is
      the object of international criticism because it is violating
international conventions and protocols on human rights, and is perceived to
be treating some of the country's white citizens and residents unjustly,
mainly because they do not support the political party in government.

      It is important for Mugabe and Nujoma to know and accept that we have
today white and yellow Africans (people who were born on the African
continent), just as we have black and yellow Europeans (people born on the
European continent).

      That was why there were black people in the English, French, German
and Dutch World Cup soccer teams the last time the soccer tournament was
held in South Korea and Japan.
      That experience should have taught Mugabe and Nujoma that today's
nations are cosmopolitan and not mono-ethnic, let alone mono-tribal.

      The socio-economic problems facing Zimbabwe were in no way created by
Britain, to
      say nothing of the United States. While drought is certainly one of
the factors, it is clearly not the major cause of the crisis tearing the
country apart. The major cause of trouble in Zimbabwe today is the
haphazard, lawless and selfish manner in which Mugabe
      and his team of yes-men (whom he ironically describes as "amadoda
sibili"), govern the country.

      If drought were the main cause of the shortage of such commodities as
sugar, maize-meal, cooking oil, table salt and various types of seed,
neighbouring Botswana, Zambia, South Africa and Mozambique would be facing
the same problems because they were
      affected by the same drought as Zimbabwe, but they do not have such
acute shortages.

      The people of Zimbabwe should accept one fundamental fact about their
social, political and economic problems. It is that they are all
home-brewed, and that their solution must be home-developed.

      The Commonwealth and the EU can only supplement the efforts
Zimbabweans themselves are making to regain their individual and collective

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Daily News

      Building societies hike mortgage interest rates

      9/12/02 8:44:55 AM (GMT +2)

      Business Reporter

      MORTGAGE interest rates have been raised again as building societies
grapple to strike a balance between retaining customers through favourable
rates and maintaining reasonble profit margins in Zimbabwe's turbulent

      Over the past two weeks major building societies, including Beverly
Building Society, Intermarket Building Society, the Central African Building
Society and Zimbabwe Building Society, announced hikes in their mortgage
interest rates.

      The building societies pegged rates for residential properties between
28,5 percent and 31,5 percent per annum, and 35 percent to 40 percent per
annum for commercial properties.Interest rates for commercial properties.
Non-occupier properties will attract mortgage interest rates ranging from 35
percent to 38 percent.

      In an interview, Beverly Building Society's general manager, Mike
Moyo, attributed the rates increases to the pressures occasioned by the
difficult macro-economic pressures.

      He said: "The increase in mortgage interest rates was necessitated by
the increase in the cost of funds. We have actually been running short of
funds as a result of those increased costs of securing financial resources.
This situation reduces any building society's capacity to lend because
deposit rates cease to be attractive."

      He predicted that if inflation levels remained high then mortgage
interest rates would continue to soar. "The frequency of increases depends
at all times on the cost of funds.

      "If inflation remains high, it will mean that the cost of funds will
continue to rise and accordingly, building societies will be forced to
constantly adjust rates in order to maintain viability in business," said

      The new rates at the Central African Building Society and at the
Zimbabwe Building Society came into effect on 1 July 2002. Intermarket
Building Society will apply the new rates and the Beverly Building Society
rates will take effect on 1 November 2002.

      Prices on the property market have been on the increase in Zimbabwe
over the past two years and the latest rise in mortgage interest rates is
likely to worsen the plight of prospective home owners.
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Daily News

      Judge orders return of deported Libyan spy

      9/12/02 8:37:34 AM (GMT +2)

      Chief Reporter

      JUSTICE Susan Mavangira of the High Court has granted a provisional
order directing Elasto Mugwadi, the chief immigration officer, to
immediately facilitate the return of Yousef Murgham, the former Libyan spy
deported for allegedly compromising State security.

      In her judgment delivered on 28 August but made available yesterday,
Mavangira gave Mugwadi 10 days to file opposing papers in the matter.

      If he fails to do so within the specified time, the court would hear
the matter as being unopposed for confirmation of the order.

      Murgham, a former counsellor and intelligence officer at the Libyan
Embassy in Harare, was deported last month. He was alleged to have been
assigned by the Central Intelligence Organisation to assassinate opposition
MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

      It is alleged that Murgham was supposed to carry out the deed some
time before the March presidential election, controversially won by
President Mugabe and disputed by the MDC as highly fraudulent.

      Mavangira said: "Murgham be and is hereby allowed to enter and remain
in this country and Mugwadi be and is hereby restricted from deporting
Murgham pending the determination of this matter.

      "That Mugwadi be and is hereby ordered to facilitate the return of
Murgham to this country and to pay the costs incidental to Murgham's return
to this country."

      While Murgham obtained the interim relief in the court, his lawyer
Jonathan Samkange yesterday said he had failed to contact him after his
deportation three weeks ago.

      Samkange said: "His whereabouts are not known. Even his wife, Jean,
does not know where he is."

      He said he would soon contact Mugwadi to find out whether Murgham was
      really deported.

      Murgham reportedly became a target for deportation because he was
being accused by the Libyan ambassador in Zimbabwe, Mahmoud Youseff Azzabi,
of leaking an alleged sex scandal story to The Standard newspaper early this
year, involving the ambassador himself and a Zimbabwean, Janet Mutasa, who
worked for the embassy.

      In its story in January, The Standard said Azzabi allegedly cajoled
Mutasa into giving in to his demands for oral sex for a period of about two
years, an allegation Azzabi has denied.

      Murgham left behind his Zimbabwean wife, Jean, 39, daughter Samia,12
and son Mohammed, 8. Jean said her husband was a staunch Zanu PF supporter
who negotiated the current deal for fuel for Zimbabwe from Libya.

      She said Murgham came to Zimbabwe in 1986 as a counsellor at the
Libyan Embassy, but resigned from the government in 1983 and preferred to
remain in Zimbabwe.
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Daily News

      UN complains over impounded goods

      9/12/02 8:32:00 AM (GMT +2)

      By Henry Makiwa

      THE United Nations has formally complained to the Zimbabwean
government after the police raided a Harare house on Saturday, where the
organisation has been storing food for its local employees.

      The UN employs more than 1 000 workers in Zimbabwe. The police
reportedly accused some UN officials of hoarding basic commodities such as
wheat, maize-meal and sugar while the country is facing a crippling food
      Festo Kavishe, a representative of United Nations Children's Fund,
yesterday said they had written a letter of complaint to the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs. He dismissed allegations that the UN was hoarding food and
said the police action of impounding their food was unlawful.

      Kavishe said: "We found it grossly unbecoming of the police to raid
our property, accusing us of engaging in illegal activities when the UN is a
known independent and global organisation, which does not harbour any
sinister motives, but strives to improve the lives of all peoples.

      "To us, it was a violation of our privileges and immunity as a neutral
and apolitical organisation. We have, therefore, requested the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs to intervene on our behalf. We hope the government will
react urgently and resolve the matter amicably." Abednico Ncube, the Deputy
Minister of Foreign Affairs, could not be reached for comment yesterday. On
Saturday night, the State-controlled Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation
reported that the police had successfully busted a "hoarding scam" involving
UN officials.

      The police were still stationed at the UN storehouse yesterday.
Kavishe said: "The goods confiscated by the police are meant to feed UN
workers and their families resident in Zimbabwe, who will be engaged in
humanitarian projects meant to alleviate poverty and hunger."

      Some of the confiscated goods, such as wheat and mealie-meal, have
already been taken to the Grain Marketing Board silos by the police,
apparently to be distributed as food aid by the government.
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Daily News

      Maputo probes claims of abuse at border post

      9/12/02 8:30:53 AM (GMT +2)

      MAPUTO - The Mozambican government has launched an inquiry into claims
that Zimbabwean border officials have abused Mozambicans crossing into the
country to trade, a senior Mozambican official has said.

      Soares Nhaca, governor of Mozambique's central Manica province which
borders Zimbabwe, told state television the alleged abuses were reported to
him by
      residents of the Machipanda border area during his recent tour there.

      "We are now in contact with the government of Manicaland in order to
clarify this issue," Nhaca said.

      He said Machipanda residents reported that they are excessively
checked and sometimes beaten and sexually abused by Zimbabwean border
guards. "I don't understand why they are doing this when we have helped the
Zimbabweans in many ways, from their country's independence war," one woman
trader said.

      Hundreds of informal traders cross between Mozambique and Zimbabwe
every day, but Zimbabwe has tightened the screws on cross-border trade amid
drastic food shortages in the country.

      Zimbabwe's State-imposed price controls on basic foods like sugar,
cooking oil, salt and other products have made those goods far cheaper there
than the prevailing market rates in the region.

      Zimbabwe has tightened border controls to stop the loss of scarce food
products to neighbouring countries, while at the same time limiting what
foods can be imported to Zimbabwe because of the government monopoly on the
sale of grain.
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Daily News

      Tongogara's brother held hostage in Shurugwi

      9/12/02 8:59:32 AM (GMT +2)

      From Zerubabel Mudzingwa in Gweru

      JOSHUA Tongogara, a younger brother of the Zimbabwe liberation war
hero, Josiah Magama Tongogara, is one of three opposition MDC candidates in
Shurugwi held hostage at their homes on Monday by suspected ruling Zanu PF
party militants.
      They were ordered to withdraw their candidature in the forthcoming
rural district council elections.

      Lyson Mlambo, the MDC provincial chairman for Midlands, identified the
other victims as Hlomayi Makotore (Ward 8) and Irene Mafukidze (Ward 11).

      Joshua Tongogara was the MDC candidate for Ward 4.

      "The Zanu PF intimidatory tactics have reached alarming levels and we
now fear for the security of our candidates," said Mlambo.

      Joshua Tongogara, the youngest brother of the late Zanla commander
Josiah Tongogara, defected from Zanu PF to the MDC nearly two years ago
after the family said they felt neglected by the ruling party.

      Their mother, Sukai Tongogara, who died in Shurugwi last month at the
age of 92, had complained for a long time that Zanu PF, some of whose
freedom fighters her son led into battle against the Smith regime, had
neglected her after burying Josiah among the very first heroes to be
interred at the National Heroes' Acre in Harare in 1981.

      Zanu PF made amends by paying all her funeral expenses.

      "All our candidates' homes in Shurugwi have been sealed off by
marauding Zanu PF youths to ensure that they do not reach out to the
constituents. They are being forced to withdraw their candidature before the
election," Mlambo said.

      The elections begin on 28 September. Mlambo said Tongogara had
received death threats from a group of Zanu PF youths camped at his family's
farm in Gamwa purchase lands.

      "We have also received reports that four other MDC candidates - Njere
Chou, Farai Sibindwani, Muhle Mudewa and Deliwe Marima - have been summoned
to the chief's court for daring to contest the election against their
headmen," Mlambo said.

      Two weeks ago, 36 MDC candidates pulled out of the race following
death threats from suspected Zanu PF supporters in Shurugwi, Zvishavane,
Mberengwa and Chirumanzu.

      But July Moyo, the Midlands provincial chairman for Zanu PF, said he
was unaware of any incidents of violence linked to the council elections
scheduled for this month-end.

      Meanwhile, Anthony Chamahwinya, the MDC's provincial deputy organising
secretary who was brutally attacked by suspected Zanu PF militants two weeks
ago, was discharged from hospital yesterday.

      Chamahwinya was attacked at Holy Cross Mission while distributing
nomination papers for his party's prospective candidates.

      He sustained deep cuts on the head and arms and was admitted to
Driefontein Mission Hospital.

      Although MDC officials yesterday maintained that the attack was
unprovoked, Innocent Chikiyi, the Zanu PF MP for Chirumanzu, said
Chamahwinya provoked the attack after he parked his car in front of a shop
owned by a Zanu PF candidate.

      "The Zanu PF youths felt extremely offended and ordered Chamahwinya
and his crew to drive off. Instead of moving, he started attacking one of
our youths, incurring the wrath of other youths who were standing nearby,"
said Chikiyi.
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Daily News

      Water weed problem spreading as wrangling continues

      9/12/02 8:57:08 AM (GMT +2)

      By Simba Chabarika Deputy Features Editor

      IT is like a green carpet on water - well-laid out and evenly spread
you would mistakenly walk on it thinking there was a hard surface below.

      This the water hyacinth which has plagued Lake Chivero for years, and
is there to stay.

      It not only unique to Zimbabwe as it is found in most water systems in
the Southern African Development Community region.

      The origins of the noxious weed in this country, is very interesting.
It came as a "pot plant" from South America decades ago.The water hyacinth
produces very beautiful flowers. By 1937 it was already in evidence along
the Mukuvisi River in Harare.

      In Kariba, the Zambezi River Authority (ZRA) successfully instituted a
programme to control the weed on Lake Kariba through the application of the
chemical 2,44-Dichlorophenoxy acetic acid (2,4D) pure of dioxins.

      The chemical was sprayed in two complimentary spraying phases. 2,4-D
was selected as the chemical option, with assurance of its purity of dioxins
from an independent laboratory in South Africa.

      The bulk of the spraying took place along the lake shore in the
eastern basin where the weed was concentrated.

      Precautions were also taken to avoid spraying close to domestic water
intake points and other sensitive areas Chemical control was adopted as the
most effective short term control measure while biological and mechanical
control are being instituted as long term control measures.

      Gache Gache and Nyaodza river mouths were cleared of the weed during
the first spraying exercise in August 1998. The second phase was in December
      However, entomologists say biological control is the only sustainable
method of controlling the weed.

      They say spraying, which has been used for a long time, is
environmentally damaging because it destroys the whole eco-system in the
affected area.

      The ZRA had recognised the increased proliferation of the weed as a
national disaster and accorded its control top priority.

      An inter-governmental committee comprising Zambia and Zimbabwe, was
      Kariba Lake Captain (Inland Waters) Levy Kusangaya says the water weed
is a thing of the past in the lake.

      "The weed was completely eradicated by the operation carried out by
the Zambezi River Authority. You must come to see for yourself and not just
write while seated in your office in Harare," Kusangaya said on the phone.

      He said the water hyacinth was also under control at Lake Chivero,
Harare's main water supply dam.

      The existing weed in Lake Chivero provided a hiding place for fish
from humans, crocodiles, birds and other animals that fed on them. "Illegal
fish vendors from Harare and Chitungwiza and other places find it difficult
to catch fish where the weed is prevalent. They cannot use nets because the
nets will not go down into the water. Thus, the weed is a convenient
protective measure," Captain Kusangaya said.Water pollution on Lake Kariba
caused by heavy oil leakages from boats and litter thrown into the water by
tourists, has now been curbed, Kusangaya said. Kusangaya said his team had
acquired six new speed boats to patrol the lake and take corrective measures
where needed.
      Although there were more boats on Lake Kariba than before as a result
of more permits given to fishing cooperatives, there was no overfishing.

      A few years ago, Lake Mutirikwi, the country's largest inland lake,
was threatened by the noxious water weed after the Department of Natural
Resources failed to get funds to buy weed control chemicals.

      As an alternative control measure the Department tried to use exotic
herbivores but this did not help.

      Dr Ngoni Moyo of the University of Zimbabwe (UZ)'s tropical resource
ecology department, says he has always been against the use of 2,4-D because
it was not safe in water bodies particularly those that had living

      He said the chemical was banned in Europe and the European Union
indicated that member states would not accept fish from Lake Victoria in
Kenya if 2,4-D was used.

      Moyo says there was very little support for the use of biological
control which entailed using weevils to kill the weed.

      Weevils feed on the plant over the years and check its spread as a
result. However, there were reports that the weed was flourishing in Lake
Chivero because the 2,4D chemical had killed the weevils instead.

      Dr Moyo says the water hyacinth was a cosmopolitan plant which thrived
in an environment which had a high or low nutrient level.

      "The problem with it is that the weed expands rapidly and Lake Chivero
provides a good high nutrient level environment for its growth. Its seeds
can be viable for 15 years and it has vegetative reproduction giving it two
reproductive strategies," he says.

      The level of the 2,4D in Lake Chivero, was negligible although there
were arguments about its effect.

      Scientific evidence had shown that 2,4D caused reproductive defects in
humans and animals.

      A study by the UZ had shown that people and animals exposed to 2,4D,
displayed marked changes in their behaviour. It could cause disruption in
the reproductive system and in fish disrupted hormones.

      A strong opponent of the 2,4D chemical, Professor Chris Magadza of the
UZ Biological Sciences Department has always said the 2,4D used in Lake
Kariba was not pure.

      "There are two levels of toxicity. One is immediate where after
spraying people may notice dead fish, while the other is chronic. The latter
is of major concern as it has wider effects.''

      "2,4D reduces amolia hormones in those who drink water. These problems
are inter-generational and would start showing in future generations," he
said a few years ago.

      While environmentalists and conservationists continue to advocate
biological control of the water weed, authorities turn a blind eye to what
seems a big problem.

      The more the wrangling continues, the more the hyacinth grows. It is
here to stay.
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Daily News

      ZCTU considers suing rival union

      9/12/02 8:43:02 AM (GMT +2)

      Business Reporter

      THE Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, (ZCTU), is considering taking
legal action against its main rival, the Zimbabwe Federation of Trade Unions
(ZFTU) over alleged harassment of employees and its affiliate members.

      In a telephone interview with The Daily News, the acting
secretary-general of the ZCTU, the country's most popular labour movement,
Miriam Mukutuma said her organisation had, in recent months, received
numerous reports of harassment and forced participation of workers in ZFTU

      Mukutuma castigated the ZFTU for deliberate flouting of labour laws
and regulations saying the alleged victimisation of workers had reached
alarming levels.

      "We have a list of employees from all over the country who have come
to us seeking assistance over the alleged harassment and victimisation by
the ZFTU," said Mukutuma.

      She said in some instances employees had their salaries deducted when
they do not want to be part to the ZFTU.

      Member affiliates, she charged, had already indicated their
disapproval and condemned the ZFTU's conduct.

      "Given all these circumstances we are now seeking legal advice from
our lawyers on the best way forward," added Mukutuma.

      She said once the ZCTU's lawyers conclude preparatory work, the labour
body would seek legal action against ZFTU.

      Labour experts and members of the public have slammed the emergence of
the ZFTU
      saying it was formed by the ruling Zanu PF party to counter the ZCTU.
Contacted for comment ZFTU president Joseph Chinotimba denied the
allegations and instead castigated industry saying his union, unlike the
ZCTU, had no support from industry.

      Chinotimba claimed that the ZFTU enjoyed what he termed massive
support from the rural community.

      "Now the ZCTU enjoys support from Harare, Bulawayo and Chitungwiza
only. We are all over the country and serve the interests of the workers,"
he said.
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      ZTA to guarantee $450 mln to farmers

      Staff Reporter
      9/12/02 1:08:54 AM (GMT +2)

      THE Zimbabwe Tobacco Association (ZTA) says it will nearly double its
bank loan guarantees to smallholder tobacco growers this year under its
tenant-farming scheme despite the uncertainty in the agriculture sector.

      The scheme is aimed at uplifting mostly black communal tobacco growers
who do not have collateral to be given bank loans.

      ZTA president Duncan Millar said the association was pressing ahead
with the farmers' support scheme, even as the key tobacco industry is unsure
of its future after more than 400 large-scale white producers were kicked
off their farms by the government in the past month.

      The 400 are among the 1 400 tobacco growers ordered to leave their
properties, although most are still refusing to comply with the government's

      A total of 2 900 commercial farmers are being evicted from their land
by the government under its controversial and often chaotic land
redistribution programme.

      "We have not yet met to agree on how much we will guarantee but I
suppose it will be more than $450 million this year," Millar told the
Financial Gazette.

      The ZTA's aid to the small-holder farmers last year was $350 million.

      Under the support scheme the ZTA, which funds its operations through
subscription fees levied on members, guarantees loans by banks to
small-scale farmers and pays up the debt if and when a farmer defaults

      Experienced farmers who are members of the ZTA assist as extension and
technical advisers and monitor the beginner-tobacco-growers on a monthly

      Millar said the association kept tighter financial controls on the
beneficiaries of the scheme, adding that non-performers were being dropped

      Growers begin off as tenant farmers, growing up to 20 hectares and
then graduate to the intermediate stage, where their hecatarage is increased
to more than 20 hectares.

      At this stage, the ZTA expects the farmers to secure their own loans
from banks.

      According to Millar, seed sales to small-scale tobacco farmers this
year have shot up 88 percent to 79.160 kilogrammes compared to 42 kgs last

      From the seed sales, the small-scale farmers are expected to produce
22. 6 million kgs of tobacco next year, which is 92 percent more than last
year's output.

      The ZTA chief however said Zimbabwe had already lost up to 60 million
kgs of its irrigated tobacco crop, noting that between 8 000 and 10 000
hectares of the irrigated crop had been grown instead of the usual 22 000

      Millar said total seed sales nationally, which are 3 percent down
compared to the same period last year, showed that Zimbabwe's tobacco output
next year would fall to 105 million kgs versus 175 million kgs this year.

      He said this year's total hectarage potential was 58 109 hectares
compared to 66 832 hectares during the same time last year.

      Zimbabwe's tobacco output has dipped in the last two years from a
record high of 236 million kgs in 2000 due to disruptions to commercial
agriculture as a result of the government-sanctioned invasions of commercial

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